I?ve always had somewhat of a problem with Warmer Milks? rugged unpredictability. It mostly caused me to write them off as too intense for the moment, never giving them a fair chance to settle into the extremely crowded music part of my brain. Warmer Milks? core member, Michael Turner, surely isn?t afraid to surprise listeners with sudden left turns and again, he?s surprising listeners with this new album. And this time it?s got nothing to do with No Wave aggression or weird, musical spasms.
?Soft Walks? has Will?s brother, Paul Oldham, on board and if he?s not responsible for the switch of style from aggro noiserock to experimental Americana than at least he?s brought in to support it. Oldham produces the album and it?s undeniable that his Palace Music past is traceable on this album. Not that Warmer Milks have gone completely Oldham on this one, besides Turner?s offkey voice and the cracked acoustic chords there?s a lush, Southern quality to this album that makes it more than just that. When he sings, ?Freeze the frame / run fields / with a new name / comes to grips / with trials / and refresh / all the same
?, in opener ?Wild Spring?, it seems that Turner is showing he?s come to grips with his strict, Pentacostal upbringing. Deciding to pay homage to that side of his past through an album of spiritual, American folk tunes.
It?s a long road from the rawness of previous albums like ?Radish On Light?, the mood on ?Soft Walks? is far more gentle and contemplative. The opening minutes of ?Patios Blues? has just Turner pondering in a soft voice, the music only enters after a minute and when it does it?s just piano chords and minimal guitar strums. It?s all extremely sincere, a bare excercise in honesty and that?s what this album seems all about. A man doing what he has to do, coming to terms with his spirituality through music. 8/10 -- Joris Heemskerk (3 September, 2008)